June 27, 2012

the tragedy is not knowing


Images run through my mind.  Memories.  Words that replay in my head.   
Images... that are no longer part of my reality.  
Memories... with loved ones I'm no longer able to share.  
Words... I understood as promises that turned out to be illusions.

We all have them, to one extent or another.   It's what we do with them that determines how they shape us.

Lindsay*Jordan* said...  with Mom's death date just a couple of days ago, I can't forget about it. Every year I try to forget and ignore, but every year Parker wants to talk about her and everyone posts something about it on Facebook. It's not easy for me to move on. Everytime I think about her all those images just come running into my mind. It never gets any easier. Got any advice for that?

Lindsay, when your mother, my sister, died suddenly in a car crash, my world came crashing down with it.  It was like every memory of my childhood was erased (my sadness) and every hope for the future was stolen (your sadness).    

Even after all these years, I still NEED to call Stacey sometimes to brag on my kids or complain about my day or cry on her shoulder.  But in all fairness, I had her for 28 years.  God gave me closure with her the night before she died. (Did you know that?  Have we ever talked about that?)  I KNEW her, maybe better than anybody, and though I MISS HER terribly, as do your grandparents and your dad, we realize that you and your brother are the ones who suffered the true loss.  Remembering her is the toughest for you.  Parker was too little to remember, too little to understand - he just wants to know ABOUT her.  But YOU... Lin, I'm weeping as I write this because YOU were just old enough to remember the tragedy, just old enough to remember what life was like with her and then without her, but you weren't old enough to have KNOWN her, and THAT is the tragedy.

So what's been running through my mind for the last couple of days is:  You can't seem to forget her, but because you didn't REALLY know her, you can't seem to remember her either.  .  In a weird way, it's like your faith. (WHAT?)  If all you know about Jesus is that he was crucified, and the only time you make him part of your life is during communion when you focus on His death... well, eww.  How much impact does that have on you, except to make you feel sad and a little guilty?  Very little, I think.  It's in KNOWING who He is, in choosing to live the way He calls us to live that allows us to move past the "death scene" and into LIFE.

It's the same with your mom.  You can't just forget her.  Every time you look in the mirror, she's there.  Every time you talk to me, she's there.  Every time you go to Nana & Papa's house, she's there.  But all you see is the tragedy, because all you really remember is her death.   Yes, I know you and I have shared a lot of stories about her, but it's time to know WHO she was, to choose to live the way she wanted for you, to move past the "death scene" and be grateful for life.

I can't give you memories, but I can keep giving you stories, and I can share her heart with you and what she wanted for you.  (Incidentally, they're the same things I want for you too.  We'll let this unfold as it will.)  I hope you know how much you are loved and how much you have to look forward to... and how amazing I think YOU are.

For now, we live in a broken world, filled with every imaginable pain and suffering.  Children are thrown in dumpsters and left blinded and alone.  Young men die from brain tumors.  Young mothers are killed in car crashes.  Love breaks our heart and we are never the same again.   

And all I have to say is:  We have two choices.  We can LOSE hope or we can BE hope.  

About your mom:  She was crazy about kids.  Her favorite jobs and activities always included children, and all she ever wanted in life was to be a mom.  She was that little girl who played with dolls constantly and slept with 28 stuffed animals and babies.  She LOVED your dad.  LOVED him.  But you and your brother were her pride and joy.  I'm going to ask Papa to send you a book called "Jantzen's Gift" because it's an amazing story, and reading it will help you know your mom's heart a little more.  Love you, Lu. <3


Sara said...

Weeping, too.

mnpolutta said...

Wow! My heart aches for the loss you all experienced! I don't know how a person moves on through such a tragedy except by the grace of God. This post is truly a gift to Lindsay and to all of us other onlookers.

Also, it's amazing how much your sister and your daughter resemble each other.

*Lindsay*Jordan* said...

Thank you Stephie. I still miss her everyday, but I'm lucky that I still have the best father in the world, a best friend who happens to be my brother, and a wonderful husband who is helping me through all my issues. And I have you. Who helps me get to know my mother and who I can comfortably come to with all my life questions.

Now got any advice on how to get rid of my crazy baby fever!?

Sara said...

Such powerful, poignant words.

Lin..have tissues ready when you start Jantsen's gift. Incidentilly, I started it Friday night and I sobbed. But it's a good sobbing..and a story of redemption.

Stephanie said...

NO BABY FEVER YET!!! For one, I still have to blog about the "forgiving part" of your last comment, and for two, please please please give your marriage everything it deserves for awhile! You will be an AWESOME mommy, and you have lots of time.

Susan said...

My nephew is a Parker. Donnie love hearing about his Dad, but has very little memory of him. But I try to let him know where he gets his quirks, when I see his Dad coming out in him. His face so lights up. Thanks Steph for writing.